Candlelighting in the Shadows of Advent

Advent begins with one candle flickering in the shadows. It is then that we start to pay attention. It is when that match strikes that we start to notice the fullness of the shadows. It is not just dark or there would not be shadows. The light never disappeared. It was always there for weContinue reading “Candlelighting in the Shadows of Advent”

Pandemic Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

I’m thinking about my own prayer life a lot right now. I’m wondering about how I’m caring for the tender part of my soul that needs to grieve and sing and wonder — and it’s hard. It’s hard to find that space in this long season for parents whether we have children learning online orContinue reading “Pandemic Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Lent”

Pandemic Prayers for Proper 14

This gorgeous reflection on 1 Kings 19:9-18 by Richard W. Swanson has got me thinking about silence. Silence feels all consuming right now. There is so much of it. Or, at least, there is for me.

A Simple Graveside Ritual

Graveside services are often very, very short. Some simple prayers are repeated by the presiding minister. Tears are shed, but there isn’t much else for the grieving family to do. There is nothing asked of them. There’s no action for them to take. What if that’s what the family needs most? They need something toContinue reading “A Simple Graveside Ritual”

Silent Prayers for All Saints Day

As #metoo¬†trends on social media, and stories that have been kept as secrets are spoken aloud, I’m keenly feeling the hurt and trauma that has made so many quiet for so many years. The resounding chorus that seems to lash out in response to say “you’re doing it wrong” or even worse “I don’t believeContinue reading “Silent Prayers for All Saints Day”

Prayers for Palm and Passion Sunday

Years ago, when I was still pastoring in Maine and also writing liturgy for the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways, I wanted to find some way to honor both Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. The church was accustomed to only doing Palm Sunday because there would be other services both for children and adultsContinue reading “Prayers for Palm and Passion Sunday”

What To Do Without a Church Musician

It happens every once in a while. A vacation is scheduled. Plans are made. Maybe someone forgot to call around and secure someone to fill in or maybe there really is no one available. This seems more and more probable to me for churches that expect the organ to be played. I mean, really, howContinue reading “What To Do Without a Church Musician”

Liturgical Lights for Sunday March 29, 2015

This Sunday brings the palms. Call it a parade. Call it a procession. Call it a protest. Our church people expect to wave palms happily in the air before the resurrection is proclaimed next week. Pastors struggle with this. This is the week that they are busy cranking out bulletins for Holy Week. They areContinue reading “Liturgical Lights for Sunday March 29, 2015”